Coach Michel set for new be­gin­ning with trou­bled Mar­seille

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY ANDY SCOTT

Af­ter start­ing the new Ligue 1 cam­paign with back- to- back defeats, trou­bled Mar­seille play their first game un­der new coach Michel when Troyes visit the Stade Velo­drome on Sun­day.

The Span­ish for­mer Real Madrid star, who had been out of work since leav­ing Greek giants Olympiakos at the start of this year, signed a two-year deal to be­come the per­ma­nent suc­ces­sor to mav­er­ick Ar­gen­tine Marcelo Bielsa.

Bielsa re­signed in the wake of the sea­son-open­ing 1-0 de­feat to Caen, leav­ing as­sis­tant Franck Passi to over­see last Sun­day’s 1-0 re­verse in Reims.

How­ever, the de­ci­sion to ap­point Michel, like Bielsa a non-French speaker, may not be to ev­ery­one’s taste, with Mar­seille winger Ro­main Alessan­drini ad­mit­ting last weekened: “It’s go­ing to be dif­fi­cult if another per­son comes with a trans­la­tor, and so on and so on.”

Mean­while, there have been fur­ther changes to the play­ing staff in re­cent days, with Mar­seille hardly able to be­lieve their eyes when New­cas­tle United came in with 17 mil­lion eu­ros (US$18.9 mil­lion) to sign flop Flo­rian Thau­vin and threw in France in­ter­na­tional play­maker Remy Ca­bella as part of the deal.

For­mer Mont­pel­lier star Ca­bella ar­rives on a sea­son-long loan which could be­come a per­ma­nent eight mil­lion-euro move next sum­mer.

“I’m very proud to be here and I can’t wait to get out on the pitch,” said the 25-year-old Ca­bella as he re­turned to France hav­ing strug­gled to make an im­pres­sion dur­ing his sea­son at New­cas­tle.

“I’ll re­mem­ber a lot of things, both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive, from my time in Eng­land. I grew up and pro­gressed a lot,” added Ca­bella, who said he was fully fit ahead of the meet­ing with newly-pro­moted Troyes.

Monaco Look For Boost

Mean­while, Monaco go to Toulouse as they look to get back on track fol­low­ing a 3-1 de­feat in Va­len­cia in the first leg of their Cham­pi­ons League play-off on Wed­nes­day.

Quar­ter­fi­nal­ists last sea­son, Leonardo Jardim’s side face an up­hill strug­gle to turn that tie around in the re­turn at the Stade Louis II next Tues­day, but first they must get back to win­ning ways in Ligue 1.

In­flu­en­tial midfielder Joao Moutinho re­mains on the side­lines but left-back Layvin Kurzawa could re­turn af­ter miss­ing the Va­len­cia en­counter, even if he is the sub­ject of mount­ing spec­u­la­tion about a big-money trans­fer to Paris Sain­tGer­main.

Reign­ing cham­pi­ons PSG will look to con­tinue their per­fect start to the sea­son when they visit Mont­pel­lier on Fri­day, although they will be with­out Marco Ver­ratti, Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic and Gre­gory van der Wiel at the Stade de la Mos­son and there will be no de­but yet for An­gel di Maria.

Paris cruised to a 2-0 vic­tory against new boys Gaz­elec Ajac­cio last week­end and will be fa­vorites against a Mont­pel­lier side who prop up the ta­ble af­ter los­ing their open- ing two matches.

“If we could win all our matches 2-0 by cre­at­ing lots of chances, with the op­po­si­tion goal­keeper mak­ing two or three decisive stops, and not giv­ing any away, I’d take that straight away,” said Paris coach Lau­rent Blanc.

“But that won’t be the case, I can as­sure you.”

France in­ter­na­tional de­fender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, a new sign­ing from Roma, could make his Lyon de­but when last sea­son’s run­ners-up en­ter­tain Rennes at the Stade de Ger­land on Satur­day.

OL were held to a goal­less draw at home by Lori­ent on the open­ing week­end but sum­mer sign­ing Clau­dio Beau­vue scored against his old club to give Hu­bert Fournier’s side a 1-0 vic­tory at Guingamp last time out.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.